We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Eva (Swinton) puts her ambitions and career aside to give birth to Kevin (Ezra Miller). The relationship between mother and son is difficult from the very first years. When Kevin is 15, he does something irrational and unforgivable in the eyes of the entire community. Eva grapples with her own feelings of grief and responsibility. Did she ever love her son? And how much of what Kevin did was her fault? 3.7 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama
Director Lynne Ramsay
Cast John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller Tilda Swinton
Studio
Release Date October 2011
Running Time 110 min.
 

Eva (Swinton) puts her ambitions and career aside to give birth to Kevin (Ezra Miller). The relationship between mother and son is difficult from the very first years. When Kevin is 15, he does something irrational and unforgivable in the eyes of the entire community. Eva grapples with her own feelings of grief and responsibility. Did she ever love her son? And how much of what Kevin did was her fault?

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Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Brilliant ... It’s testament to [Lynne Ramsay's] skill as a director that even though her adaptation of Shriver’s book is a ruthless one, the film feels entirely faithful to its spirit. More importantly, Kevin is a piece of vital, visceral cinema in its own right; teeming with words and images to mull over, pick apart and talk about. And you will need to talk about it.

20/10/2011

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The Times

Kate Muir

Scottish-born Ramsay has made a confident, mature film, outdoing her well-received Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar. She builds up a tension that makes you want to scream out, just for the relief of breaking Eva’s martyred silence. Ramsay’s eye for background is also sharp: the phoniness of the family’s McMansion with its perfect white sofas; the sad sleaze of the travel bureau where Eva works. The use of lighthearted music (country and western, Lonnie Donegan) at utterly inappropriate moments adds a dark irony to the proceedings.

21/10/2011

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

What American Psycho was to consumerism, We Need to Talk About Kevin is to both sexism and feminism, a brilliantly extreme parable, operatically pessimistic.

20/10/2011

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Time Out

Dave Calhoun

Thought-provoking, confident and fearless. It’s experimental but never alienating and horrific in all the right ways.

21/10/2011

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Total Film

Philip Kemp

It’s the kind of film that’s impossible to shrug from your mind. It stays embedded like a sliver of ice, causing you to shudder again days, even weeks, after seeing it.

20/10/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

This may be one of the most disquieting films ever made about a parent-and-child relationship … It's worth pointing out that Ramsay's film is a bold one in terms of current sensibilities. Every week I see movies in which characters, however stupid or dislikeable, get a free pass by showing what special parents they are: this is because Hollywood has elevated children to the status of gods who must be appeased. The ability to bond with your kid is now shorthand for, "I am, after all, a wonderful human being". We Need to Talk about Kevin would be remarkable just in terms of its kicking against this phony piety.

21/10/2011

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Empire Magazine

Liz Beardsworth

Swinton and Miller play this complex, layered relationship to perfection, and it’s their strange, unsettling chemistry — eventually to turn cataclysmic — that holds the film in perfect stasis between domestic drama and pure horror.

17/10/2011

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The Evening Standard

David Sexton

Ramsay splashes red throughout the film - paint, wine, lipstick, a dress, jam, the flashing red lights of the emergency services. Yet you never feel like tittering ... It is just as bloody as Macbeth, although with hardly a drop of actual blood shown.

21/10/2011

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The Scotsman

Siobhan Synnot

Kevin is bleak, but Ramsay exercises restraint too. She could have pumped up the horror with stretched out depictions showing Kevin at his worst. Instead she drives in the nail with a single blow – a sardonic look, a contemplative close-up, a silence that allows us to draw our own conclusions.

18/10/2011

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The Observer

Philip French

Lynne Ramsay ... and her co-adaptor, Rory Kinnear, have dropped the epistolary technique. That would have demanded a voiceover narrator and greatly restricted the film's tempo. But they've maintained much of the book's tone through the casting of the estimable, closely controlled Tilda Swinton.

01/01/1900

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

For me, the film is psychologically too thin. It starts from the premise that we need to talk about Kevin, but it doesn’t actually have much to say about him because it doesn’t believe in causality, personal responsibility, evil, psychiatry or therapy. So what’s left to say?

23/10/2011

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Uncut Magazine

Jonathan Romney

The only sour note is a sometimes overstated take on middle-American crassness, but otherwise this is a powerful comeback from an individual Brit director.

24/10/2011

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The New Statesman

Ryan Gilbey

Ramsay traps us ... Either we believe that Eva is delusional, or we accept that Kevin terrorised her from the day he was born - in which case we might be the sort of viewers who think the Omen films should be filed under "Documentary".

20/10/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Frustrating as it is, this is a Lynne Ramsay film to the hilt. It's not the Kevin you know, and it may not be the Kevin you want – but if you see it, you'll certainly need to talk about it.

23/10/2011

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The Financial Times

Antonia Quirke

The whole movie seems to take place less on screen than on Swinton’s face on screen: she is the screen, the canvas. Sickly, apprehensive, Swinton has a face that’s always looking for grievances, a face, one feels, used to rather grandly and patiently examining those of shamefaced men.

20/10/2011

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

This is cheap grand guignol posing as a valuable insight into the male psyche. Tilda Swinton’s performance is towering, but the story around her doesn’t convince.

21/10/2011

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The Daily Express

Henry Fitzherbert

Atmospheric and beautifully shot but ultimately empty and meaningless, the picture plays like an art-house version of The Omen as we track Kevin's journey to infmay through the memories of his mother.

19/10/2011

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